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CD Review: The John Kirkpatrick Band

Force of Habit

John Kirkpatrick, vocals, button accordion, anglo concertina
Graeme Taylor, guitar, mandolin, banjo
Paul Burgess, vocals, fiddle, recorder, keyboards
Dave Berry, bass guitar, fretless bass, tuba
Michael Gregory, drums & percussion


Pepper in the Brandy/The Seven Coloured linnet
The Cheshire Rounds/ The Old Lancashire Hornpipe
George's Son
Medley of Four Morris Tunes: La Mouresque/ The Winster Morris Reel / London Pride / Glorishears
Menage a Trois
White Fryer's Hornpipe/ Shreds and Patches
Black Against the Snow
Blue Balloon
Step and Fetch Her
Bread and Jam Waltzer/ Mr Gubbins' Bicycle
Seventeen Comes Sunday
The Oakham Poacher
The Gas Almost Works
Princess Royal
The Swirling Serpent/ Beast of Burden

Total Time: 68:58
Released in 1996

Omnion Recordings(OMM 2015D)

Review by Henry Doktorski:

Recorded live at the Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham, Lincolnshire England, John Kirkpatrick's album is a smooth blend of traditional English dance instruments such as the accordion, concertina, fiddle, recorder, etc. and twentieth-century rock instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass, drums and keyboards.

Kirkpatrick's musette accordion, accompanied by tuba, mandolin and drums, provided a nice French flavor in "Menage a Trois." On the other hand, "Blue Balloon" provided a nice contrast with it's rock 'n roll beat and twelve bar blues progression. "The Gas Almost Works" is a rhythmic rocking piece in 5/4 time which features accordion solos between unison electric guitar, bass and drums.

Although I don't think Kirkpatrick is a great singer, he has, none-the-less, a good stage personality and I enjoyed listening to the several songs which he sang.

His sense of humor deserves special mention; one moment in particular made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh some more -- out loud of course. Why? After track two, he announced: "I shouldn't really tell you this, but we're recording the show tonight for a possible record, so could you please practise clapping a bit louder than that for the control room? OK? Go!! (loud audience applause and cheers) Thanks! We'll just put that on between each number!"

There was no need to use that laugh track in the final edit, since the audience appreciation was sincere and voluminous after each song. I also enjoyed Dave Berry's tuba playing. It added a wonderful depth; especially when he played melodies in unison with the recorder -- some three or four octaves apart!

Kirkpatrick's album captures the spontaneity and verve of a live performance. It's a real toe-tapper.

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